Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Scarey First Date

In honor of the Halloween season I thought I would tell the story of the first date My Geek and I went on (even though it occured in April).

When My Geek and I met, we talked on the phone a lot and did things with our single friends. I thought that he was interested in me but, if so, he was taking his sweet time asking me out.

One day while talking on the phone we discovered we both loved Stephen King. I was really excited about having this in common until he mentioned that Pet Semetary was out in theaters. I felt a chill go up my spine. "Oh, great. He's going to ask me out now, I just know it."

Sure enough, he did. He had finally asked me out on the one date I didn't want to go on.

You see, what My Geek didn't know is that I can't stand horror movies. Not that I dislike them but that I can't tolerate them. I'm easily spooked and tend to have nightmares for days after seeing even the tamest ones. It may seem like a contradiction to be able to read Stephen King but not be able to watch it. The only way I can explain it is that I'm very visual. When I read a book, even with the author's graphic descriptions, the imagery is left up to my own imagination. In a movie, I am subject to someone else's imagination which usually is more graphic and horrifying than mine. They suggest things I never thought of before.

But I had to risk going. Since he had finally asked, I didn't want to say no. I had read Pet Semetary. I knew absolutely everything that was going to happen. I could handle it, right?

My memory of that date starts after the movie had started. Since it was our first date, I didn't feel comfortable hiding my head in his shoulder so I hid behind my hand. It seemed worse that I knew what was going to happen next. I got more worked up as each scene passed. ("oh no, this is where the biker gets killed." then "Oh no, this is where the biker comes back.")

The scene that finally got to me was the first time they showed Rachel's sister, Zelda, who had spinal meningitis. If you've read the book, you know what I'm talking about. I decided I had gotten in over my head and had to bail. I leaned over and whispered, "I've got to go."

"O.k." he said. He didn't move. I didn't understand his reaction. (Later he said he thought I needed to step out to the bathroom.)

"No, I have to leave. I can't watch this." Recognition crossed his face.

I figured that I had pretty much ended this relationship before it had a chance to get started. The guy spent money on a movie he didn't even get to finish. (He went back later with a friend to see it.) He was kind enough to take me for ice cream where we sat in the grassy median and watched the traffic at the Skillman/Audelia/635 intersection. Little did I know that in almost exactly two years we would be living as newlyweds around the corner from that very spot.

Other horror movies I never finished watching:
  • Salem's Lot

  • The Exorcist

  • The Shining

  • Halloween

  • Scream

  • Vampires (w/James Wood)

  • Nightmare on Elm Street

NOTE: In doing research on Pet Semetary, I read a few reviews that referenced the Zelda scene as one of the scariest they had ever seen. I feel vindicated.


Heather said...

I can neither watch nor read horror. Overactive imagination. I think I would have even risked a first date for it. You're a better man than I, Gunga Din.

rhon said...

He is worth the bad dreams I had for a week after that. In hindsight, I also see how it showed he is an easy-going, forgiving person. Now I have someone next to me when I have bad dreams.

Erin said...

I think psychological thrillers are scarier than all-out gore and monsters.

M. Night Shaymalan's movies mess with my head, and THAT is what freaks me out! I can handle fake blood, people being chased by chainsaw wielding maniacs, and hitchikers who never seem to stay dead. It's the tricks movies convince my own mind to play on me that get my feet up off the floor and the shivers going.

Stephen King's one about the man who was completely paralyzed, and they thought was actually dead, and was about to be autopsied... THAT was a teeth grinder! Cuh-reepy!

Carolanne said...

I am like you - I can read the horror books but not watch them. A lot of people don't seem to understand that but perhaps they don't read many horror books.
Not only are the horror scenes left up to our imagination, but we can sort of skim the bits we need to without taking in too much detail!